Yet the term "feminist" is still vastly misunderstood and steeped in stereotypes.
A January 2016 survey conducted by The Washington Pot and Kaiser Family Foundation found that six in 10 women identify as feminist. One-third of men surveyed considered themselves feminists or strong feminists.
The survey also found that four in 10 Americans believe feminists are "angry." A majority of men surveyed — 52% — believe the feminist movement "unfairly blames men for women's challenges."
These statistics highlight the ever-present tension between the feminist movement's push for equality and the perception of that movement's motivations.
That's where Carey Lynne Fruth and Sophie Spinelle's — photographers at Shameless, a leading boudoir photography studio — project comes in.
"This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" is an intersectional photo series that highlights the intersectionality of the feminist movement as well as the large swath of people within in.
"'This Is What A Feminist Looks Like' matters because not only are we still seeing people outside of the feminist community assuming they know who feminists are based on stereotypes but we are also, unfortunately, seeing a lack of intersectionality within," Fruth said. "We want people everywhere to see this project and feel welcome."
While working on an unrelated project, Fruth and Spinelle saw a "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" protest sign. That moment led to the creation of this project.
They shot the photos across the country, from New York City to the Bay Area of California.
"Like many of our projects, it emerged organically and from the heart," Spinelle said. "It's some of the most effortless, joyful shooting I could imagine because of the spirit everyone brought into the studio and the sense of shared purpose."
While shooting the project, Fruth and Spinelle committed to being intersectional, meaning they intentionally chose models who inhabit various identities across the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and ability.
"Intersectionality helps us all to understand one another," Fruth said. "Everyone's life experience is different based on a multitude of elements, and to ignore the way those combinations create differing discrimination, oppression, injustices, etc. is to negate your fellow human beings' experience and possibly overshadow it with your own."
Their focus on intersectionality is part of a collective fight within the movement.
"We are fighting to make feminism inclusive and intersectional," Fruth explained in a press statement. "We have to stand up for the rights of all people, of all races, ethnicities, abilities, genders — and I don't just mean cis men and women, I mean ALL genders — classes, and religions."
Photography, in particular, lets Fruth and Spinelle be purposefully inclusive. "As a photographer, I think it is extremely important to welcome people of any size, shape, color, age, ability, ethnicity, etc. into the studio and allow them to be seen the way they want to be seen and tell the story they want to tell," Fruth said.
"This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" is also their collective attempt to quell the misconceptions about feminism and remind distractors of its importance.
"Too many times I have heard the argument that men and women are just simply unequal," Fruth said in a press statement. "Men are aggressive and masculine, women are gentle and feminine. This is such an outdated way of thinking. These are stereotypes."
"This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" is a project that's more critical now than it has ever been.
That's why the project is ongoing.
"I don’t want people to have to be afraid to be labeled feminist," Spinelle said. "Being a feminist simply means
that your values tell you that everyone is equally deserving of respect and justice."